Addressing WaSH challenges in Pacific Island countries: A participatory marketing systems mapping approach to empower informal settlement community action

Stephen Graham Saunders, Dani J. Barrington, Srinivas Sridharan, Semisi Meo, Wade L Hadwen, Katherine F. Shields, Regina Souter, Jamie K. Bartram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Addressing complex and challenging issues entails access to credible systems information in the form of systems maps or diagrams. The purpose of our paper is to describe a participatory action research (PAR) systems mapping activity that was undertaken by an urban informal settlement community in a small Pacific Island Country. A total of 19 households participated in a systems mapping activity to map a household-level water or sanitation system. The individual household systems maps and related data were then used to construct a de-identified aggregated water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) marketing systems map (and accompanying narratives) for the informal settlement. We present the marketing systems map, which delineated a series of marketing exchanges, and report on how the map assisted the community to address a number of expressed needs. We conclude by suggesting that systems mapping is a valuable activity that communities could undertake to generate credible systems information to inform and empower collective planning and actions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalHabitat International
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Developing countries
  • Hygiene
  • Participatory action research
  • Sanitation
  • Systems mapping
  • Water

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